‘Do not hire illegal foreign workers’

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 01 May 2020

A banner put up by DBKL informing market operators that they cannot hire undocumented foreign workers. Photos: RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

TRADERS at wet markets and food courts in Kuala Lumpur have been issued a stern warning by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to hire only foreign workers with proper permits from the Immigration Department. Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan reminded wet market traders and hawkers that they were not allowed to hire workers without documentation to work in their premises. “We are no longer going to tolerate this (practice) and will go all out to weed out illegals working in DBKL-owned premises, ” he said.

Traders are not allowed to hire foreigners without documentation, but this practice has persisted for a long time.

Despite constant enforcement operations with multiple government agencies to weed out the illegals, they keep coming back.

“I blame their employers for hiring them despite knowing that it is illegal.

“It takes two to tango, and now we need to send out a warning.

“Allowing those without permits to work is akin to saying that it is okay to break the law, ” he told StarMetro.

“Those without valid permits are violating the Federal Territory Wholesale Market 2002 by-laws.

“I will not allow that. I know it is going to be tough getting affordable help, but they just have to find ways to hire Malaysians, ” he said, adding that many from the homeless community were looking for jobs.

Traders who fail to comply with the law risk losing their licence.

Many traders and hawkers are facing a shortage of manpower due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they have asked for leeway to hire undocumented workers.

This follows the closure of Pasar Raja Bot in Chow Kit for disinfection after several market traders, who had visited Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur, tested positive for Covid-19. Pasar Raja Bot will be closed until May 13.

Health director-general Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah had said that Covid-19 infections had started from the wholesale market and spread to other localities.

He added that the infection in the wholesale market came from the tabligh cluster in the Seri Petaling Mosque.

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